Owl found in Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree could be released into wild soon

Rockefeller Owl
A saw-whet owl named Rockefeller, who was discovered inside the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Photo credit Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — An owl that was discovered hiding in this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree could be released back into the wild on Saturday, according to an upstate wildlife sanctuary.

Ellen Kalish, director of Ulster County's Ravensbeard Wildlife Center told the Daily Freeman that the owl is “in great condition.”

The sanctuary named the small saw-whet owl Rockefeller, and said in a Facebook post that they will keep him in their care for a few more days to monitor his health.

“We will keep him here with us for a few more days while we monitor his health and get him back up to a proper weight. We are all grateful for the support from everyone across the country and beyond, and are excited to provide more updates soon as to when Rockefeller will be released,” the sanctuary wrote.

According to the wildlife center, a man who works for the company that transports and secures the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center found the bird tucked away inside the 75-foot-tall Norway spruce following the journey from Oneonta.

Rockefeller Owl
A saw-whet owl that was discovered inside the 2020 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Photo credit Ravensbeard Wildlife Center

The man's wife called Ravensbeard Wildlife Center in Saugerties in Ulster County, and the man brought the saw-whet owl to the facility himself.

While the sanctuary continues to monitor Rockefeller’s health, they had started a GoFundMe page to raise money for a permanent home where they can continue to help wild birds.

“Ravensbeard is in desperate need of a permanent home, where we can continue to help injured and orphaned birds like Rockefeller for years to come,” the sanctuary wrote.

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